The 2019 high school football season kicked off in Logansport Friday night. While the story for the Berries coming into this season has been their youth after graduating 12 seniors from the 2018 squad, they still have a strong unit of leadership this season with 12 seniors. The Peru Tigers, on the other hand, are rostering only five seniors.
By the end of the night, it became a one-sided scoreboard as the Berries were knocked off in their home opener by the Peru Tigers to the count of 48-21.
You couldn’t have designed a better evening for football with a game-time temperature of 72 degrees, and everyone was ready for some real football, from those in the Logansport bleachers to those on the Peru side of the field and on Cheapskate Hill.
Both team’s offenses enjoyed some early success and each put big plays on display early on in this matchup as well. However, it was largely feast or famine for these teams and the Tigers were feasting a lot in the first half.
Quarterback Michael Chandler was on fire early connecting on 4 of his first 6 pass attempts for 176 yards and 3 touchdowns. Similarly, Peru running back Daunte Majors churned out 70 rushing yards and a touchdown on 3 carries, as well as a receiving touchdown from 25 yards out.
Peru did not put a possession together longer than 4 plays in the entire first half, yet were able to put up 27 points, while the Berries strung together three possessions of six plays or more, rushing the ball 23 times for a total of 221 yards (9.6 YPC), but couldn’t quite match Peru’s scoring attack.
Logansport also put some big plays on display in the first half as running back Josh Manfred ran for gains of 31 and 92 yards with a touchdown on his way to 157 first-half rushing yards. Additionally, quarterback Garrett Barron threw the ball well for the Berries as he started off his junior campaign 5 of 11 for 86 yards through the air.
Big plays through the air for Peru and a consistent rushing attack on the ground for the Berries left us with a 27-21 halftime score.
The second half brought about some pivotal plays within the first 8 minutes and only got worse as the second half continued for the Berries. Peru running back Daunte Majors was on it again and took the Berries defense for a ride with a 79-yard touchdown run, then caught a beautiful ball from Chandler and scampered 86 yards for the score to put the Tigers up 41-21 just like that.
But real trouble would follow soon for the Berries.
As the next possession began, Logan quarterback Garrett Barron hit Drake McLochlin along the sideline on a big pickup through the air, but the play was negated by a personal foul call on a crackback block. The Berries would accrue another first down, but were ultimately forced to punt. Unfortunately enough, the snap on the punt would miss its target and rolled all the way back to the Logansport 19 yard line.
The Tigers would continue to pound away at the Logansport defense and only needed a single play to put another score on the board. Dakota Scarlett took the very next play 19 yards off the right end in for the touchdown putting Peru up 48-21 with just over three minutes left in the third quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff return, Manfred took the ball, using all of the field, all the way back for a touchdown, however, an illegal block in the back would negate that and give Logansport the ball at their own 40 yard line instead of 6 points on the board.
The Berries did begin to move down the field with plays of 16 and 10 yards to get them into Peru territory. Manfred would later take the ball 28 yards, inside the 1-yard line, and on the following play, on a Barron sneak attempt, the ball was jarred loose by the Peru defense and recovered in the end zone giving the ball back to the Tigers. That may have been the straw that broke the Berries’ back.
The Tigers followed suit with a fumble on the very next play, but the Berries simply couldn’t muster any more offensive firepower the rest of the night.
Coach Romison Saint-Louis understood that what his team did Friday night was no small feat. “That’s (Logansport) a very good wing-T team over there. Last year we were on the wrong side of a rout, and this year our guys really stepped up and made some big plays, and were able to stop them as well.”
Saint-Louis acknowledged how pivotal Majors is to his team’s success against Logansport, but also for Peru’s future. “Obviously, we’ve got a guy who can really move, and he’s going to be a big weapon for us, but our group has really come together nicely from working hard in the summer to seeing it now on the field.”
The Berries were led by Manfred on the ground with 207 rushing yards on 18 carries (11.5 yards per carry), and Barron going 7 for 18 for 93 yards through the air and 52 rushing yards on 9 carries. The Berries also got 52 rushing yards on 11 carries from Drake McLochlin.
The Tigers were led by Majors on the ground with 5 carries and 153 yards, two touchdowns, another 111 receiving yards and two touchdowns.